This work examines the relationships between U.S. strategic security, trade interests, and democratic enlargement in Africa. The author demonstrates that idiosyncratic presidential actions shaped the outcomes of the policy to export democratic ideals to Africa. This study examines the role of presidents George H.W. Bush and William J. Clinton in promoting democratic reforms in Sub-Saharan Africa. Clearly, these U.S. presidents believed that democracy could be trusted as a means of solving African problems that included poverty and conflicts. While the two presidencies show remarkable similarities in the conduct of foreign policy relations with Africa, individual differences in styles, discernible differences are visible. There is evidence that at the end of the Cold War, U.S. support to democratic reforms in Africa produced significant gains in expanding democratic space ushering in a new political disposition in a troubled continent. However, although several dictatorships gave way to elected governments, there are a number of countries in which American efforts did not produce enduring changes.
Presidential action alone was insufficient in ensuring successful changes in governance structures. This work will appeal to scholars in African studies and general readers of the U.S. presidency and international affairs.
Publisher: The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd